Lilypie - First Birthday

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas

It's getting nearer and nearer to Christmas but I can't feel any festive mood, especially because of the hot weather in Malaysia.

Well, humans are always like that. Longing for the warmth in Malaysia when it's freezing in Korea, and longing for winter and down jackets and snow when back in Malaysia.

Miss those times when I see some random Korean guy walking around in campus wearing a silly winter hat when it's nowhere even near winter yet.......

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Penang Bridge Run

Went for the Penang Bridge Run - Fun Run 10km category and completed the run under one and a half hour. This is actually my first bridge run even though I've lived in Penang since 2006. Throughout the years I had just chosen to sleep in and then wake up and mock the people who got up in the middle of the night for the run. :P During the run, the sun came up over the Penang Bridge. It was so beautiful. I can see the appeal for an annual mass run now.

I just feel that haters will always be haters. Some people jeer at me for making a fuss out of this without understanding that this is my first real run 9 months after my ACL surgery. After my surgery I haven't really done any runs, not even on the treadmill, usually I just use an elliptical trainer because my physio-therapist had warned me to give less impact on my knees.

Anyway, feeling good after I completed the run. My knee doesn't hurt, although I can feel the difference between a healthy left knee and a post-ACL surgery right knee. Thanks to my hubby for giving up his half-marathon to accompany me on this fun run. :-)

After the run, with our certificates
Taken at 6.30am, before the run
Penang Bridge lit up in full glory at night, because of the Penang Bridge Marathon event

Also now that the run is over, I hope that they turn down the brightness cos I can't sleep at night.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Triple Town

惨... 玩 Triple Town 玩到上瘾... 昨天在公司饭厅看见对面空着一个位, 左右隔壁还有人, 竟然心痒痒想把多一个人填进去形成另一个样东西... 所谓三个女人一个墟... 应该是这样来的吧~



Thursday, August 30, 2012

Japanese style curry chicken katsu

晚上, 老公拿起锅铲, 弄了两份日本式咖喱煎鸡排。

日本式咖喱, 我在留学韩国之前仿佛没有什么印象。应该是曾经在 Sushi King 什么的吃过一次, 味道不怎么样, 很快就淡忘了。

在韩国那段日子, 我的味蕾重新认识了这款咖喱。韩国那里的咖喱就是日式咖喱, 只是旁边多了一碟泡菜。每两个星期一次, 学校宿舍的饭堂都会为我们准备日式咖喱。我想必是因为这道菜太容易准备了吧, 材料都是 instant 的,  咖喱粉也是 instant 的。要应付宿舍里几百个学生, 真是再容易不过。

在冷飕飕的下雨天, 或在外头飘起白雪的冬天, 进到饭厅里闻到阵阵而来的咖喱香, 手里捧上一碗淋上金黄色咖喱汁的白饭, 就能感到温暖。

日式咖喱虽然和我们在马来西亚所吃的咖喱不同, 但也能让我一解乡愁。在韩国吃过最好吃的日式咖喱, 在一家名叫 Kirin 的店。那家店离学校后门很靠近, 最平常的咖喱炸鸡排是韩币六千, 而比较特别的咖喱炸海鲜是韩币八千。他们家的日式咖喱加了印度咖喱粉, 比起其他店的咖喱更香更辣。我最爱吃辣, 常和其他爱吃辣的朋友光顾这家店。

回国之后, 吃日式咖喱竟从平日的习惯变成了一种不习惯。而昔日的味道, 到后来, 只成为了一种回忆。


Monday, August 27, 2012

Honey lemon tea

Sick sick from the hot weather...  >.<

I've always prided myself on being a tough cookie who doesn't fall sick easily... I was just bragging to my brother last weekend about how I didn't fall sick very often during my two years in South Korea. But it's bad luck to say so, I caught a cold not long after............

Luckily I made a jar of honey lemon concentrate, already soaked for five days, just in time as a remedy for the cold~

Recipe from: http://belachan2.blogspot.sg/2012/04/lemon-honey-drink.html


#1 - All you need is a couple of lemons, a glass jar and honey. Hubby bought the bottle of honey from his Qigong master for RM70. Expensive~ gonna buy the RM48 bottle from Sunshine next time... 


#2 - It's super duper easy to make, just cut up the lemon into thin slices, as thin as you can go! I used an Amway Nutrilite ceramic knife given to us by my MIL, it's very useful for slicing stuff thinly. 



#3 - Place each slice of lemon inside the jar and layer it with honey. Then screw the lid tight and place it inside the fridge for five days before consuming. If you are using a metal lid for your container then remember to put a piece of plastic wrap before screwing on the lid. This is to avoid some reaction between the acid from the juice and the metal lid. After five days the juice from the lemon will interact with the honey, and the whole mixture will become more watery.

#4 - Just scoop out some honey + lemon slice, mix with hot water (not boiling hot as not to spoil the Vitamin C nutrients) and drink! It's so good to drink one cup of this every morning, helps to soothe your throat and hopefully it's gonna whiten my skin from inside out!~   

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Chocolate Cake & Pistachio Citrus Pound Cake



I can't seem to stop Rihanna's "Birthday Cake" from ringing incessantly inside my head whenever I'm baking. "Cake x15....." Any normal person would be annoyed to death but luckily I'm a die-hard fan of Riri's!!

Baked a birthday cake for my hubby's turning 31 end of last month using Nigella Lawson's seemingly decadent Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake recipe. The cake was baked the day before, wrapped in cling film and refrigerated. If it weren't for a party I would have taken it out at 25 minutes while it was still moist. The dark chocolate icing was done on the day itself. However the icing didn't turn out as thick and smooth as I pleased. By the way, it was my first attempt at cake decoration.......... After sprinkling some red sugar hearts and hand-shakingly bad calligraphy, the cake looks passable as a happy birthday cake (i hope :P). The candles were re-used from past birthday celebrations (his & mine).. The "1" is a singing candle.......... 


Anyway the birthday boy looks pretty gleeful from the picture. Next to him is a pitcher of gin & tonic supply from his colleague........ I swear the Bombay Sapphire is the culprit that knocked me out that night! 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Two weeks afterwards, I baked a pistachio citrus pound cake to bring back to Ipoh for my mom. Pound cake gets its name from the amount of ingredients used - one pound each of flour, butter, sugar and eggs. Screams FATTENING! But since I was gonna bring this back for my family to share, the fatssss are gonna be divided out~~~ hehe.

From the instructions it looked easy enough, but halfway into the baking time my cake mixture overflowed in the oven and made a horrible mess. I was so heartbroken I didn't even have the mood to Instagram the cake. And even after 1.5 hours inside the oven the part which overflowed didn't bake well although the other parts looked fine.

Sigh, every time I bake something will surely go wrong~  I blame it on my lack of technique and practice. I guess I need to re-try some of my recipes so that I can identify the part that went wrong. After googling what went wrong, I guess the overflowing happened due to over-beating of the eggs. The instructions also said to rotate the cake while baking halfway through, which I didn't do. Maybe I should try that next time and see what happens. Also, add 100g less sugar into the pound cake so that it's not too sweet.

Some tips while making pound cake:
http://shine.yahoo.com/shine-food/13-ways-ruin-pound-cake-221500870.html

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

I2C lockdown NACK fix

Just feel like noting down this issue which has been bugging me since last Thursday afternoon. I had to try and try endless times writing and re-writing the state machines, and scour I2C websites for the solution. Finally, I got it solved after trying out some hints... hope this fix is once and for all~

Issue: When doing a read from EEPROM, the SDA is held low and bus is locked when the first bit of the next data is a 0.

I2C Protocol:


Problem: I2C lockdown
When acting as a master receiver, the I2C spec requires that a NACK be sent by the master upon receipt of the last byte of data from the slave transmitter. This is in order to tell the slave transmitter not to try and send any more data. Otherwise, if the slave tried transmitting more data and the first bit happened to be a 0 you would lock up the bus because the slave would be holding SDA low which would prevent the master from sending the STOP bit! 
(Source: http://processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/I2C_Tips)

Inspiration to solve the problem:
This is the purpose of the I2C NACK bit that concludes a transfer from the slave IC to the master device. If the master ACKs the last byte and then attempts a STOP condition, the slave might put a 0 on the data line that blocks the STOP condition. If the master NACKs the last byte then the slave IC gives up and everybody exits cleanly.
(Source: http://dangerousprototypes.com/2009/08/17/the-point-of-i2c-nacks/)

Fix:
While sending the command to read the last byte of data, need to write the NACK command to slave during the same state. (Command register, address <= 3'b100, data <= 8'h28.) Not at the next state machine. And check the NO_ACK_flag asserted high from the EEPROM model side.

OMG... hardware IP is such a nightmare..........................

But finally, I'm a real IC Design Engineer now. Happy~~~~~~~~~ *^^*

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Japanese visitors


上个周末,家里来了两名日本背包客。坐在我右边,灰色上衣的那一个,其实是我老公整十年前到日本作学生交流,住在他名古屋(Nagoya)家时认识的。那个时候的 Sato-kun 还是个可爱的十二岁小孩。一转眼十年没见,老公说,他长这么大了... 而且,也长得蛮帅的... 嘻嘻!

他们来东南亚作背包旅行,槟城是在马来西亚的唯一一站。来大马之前他们到了河内,曼谷,在槟城呆两三天,然后飞新加坡,再回日本。老公为了报答 Sato 一家人当年的盛情款待,特意载他们在槟城到处游走 -Batu Feringgi, Penang Hill, Fort Cornwallis, First Avenue, UNESCO Heritage Site, etc.

星期六早上的我们。在升旗山 newly refurbished 的电动缆车。


本来想进去升旗山上新建的猫头鹰博物馆,但是收费有点昂贵,一人RM10,所以就作罢了。在外面拍个照留念。



他们这一次来得倒也合时,恰逢 Penang Georgetown Festival, 在乔治市旧区有很多 open house 和街头表演,让他们大开眼界。因为这一趟,我听得最多的字眼就是 “sugoi”,也就是 amazing 的意思。日本人什么都要 sugoiiiiiii 一番,无论是漂亮的风景,好吃的食物,或是好玩的事儿。


当然,来槟城游玩,也少不了吃吃喝喝的。日本人比韩国人勇于尝试新的食物,马来西亚的食物他们大多数都可以接受,就连榴莲也吃得下几颗,唯独是驰名世界的 Air Itam asam laksa,让他们却步不前,哈哈哈哈哈。来到巴刹对面的摊口一坐下来,就连平日过于有礼貌的日本人也禁不住捏一捏鼻子说,“好臭”。Asam laksa 来了,他们鼓起很大的勇气,尝了一口那躺在一碗污浊的汤水中唯一看起来比较白净的面条,然后很勉强地说了“oishii”。我和老公相视大笑,然后说了一句“hontoni?” 


日本人和韩国人有一个很大的不同之处,就是日本人比较含蓄,什么想法都收在心里,满口只说一些赞赏的话。韩国人就比较直接,心里想讲什么就讲什么,如果给他们吃这一碗 asam laksa,不懂什么形容词都会跑出来~~  

我问那两个小伙子,日本有什么比较奇怪的食物?他们想了几分钟,说出 fugu,nato,和 unagi。

Fugu 是 blowfish,据说若厨师处理不好,吃的人就会身中剧毒。以前在韩国就会常常吃 fugu,虽然比较贵,但是教授特爱吃,常常都请我们吃。韩国的 fugu 是煮辣汤或清汤的,日本的 fugu 是 sashimi 居多。

Nato 是一种 fermented soybean,日本人用来配饭吃。Nato 是我最不能接受的日本食物,觉得它味道奇怪无比,无法下啃。

Unagi 更不用说了,很多日本寿司店里都有卖。不同的是日本的鳗鱼比较新鲜,在大马吃的通常比较腥。

还有一个奇怪的日本食物,是我一名曾经在日本公干蛮久的同事跟我说的。Raw Alaskan Crab, 我一开始听的时候一直说好吃,直到他强调说是生的,不是好象平时 buffet 里煮过的!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Banana Poppy Seed Cake and Cajun Chicken Pot Pie


Baking is so therapeutic. When I feel sad, I just busy myself in the kitchen. My mind is filled with flour, sugar, measurements, methods, oven temperature, sweat, and the delicious aroma wafting from the oven afterwards. 

I tried out this recipe from Yummylittlecooks. 
http://www.yummylittlecooks.com/2011/10/banana-and-poppy-seeds-cake.html
However, I think I should double the portion of ingredients next time. :-)

The cake turned out too dense, although the flavour was correct. Maybe it was because I didn't cream the butter and sugar as stated, because I didn't know what was "creaming". I melted it over hot water instead. :P Actually creaming would make the cake fluffier, so that it's not so dense after it is baked.

Tips here:
http://www.easy-cake-ideas.com/why-are-my-cakes-so-dense.html

Nothing better than a warm banana bread fresh out of the oven

Last Sunday, I tried to make a Cajun Chicken Pot Pie cos I was bored of eating rice for dinner. Made my own mixture of cajun powder following the recipe. Tried to make the pie crust from scratch too but didn't turn out like what I wanted, I suspect due to over-pulsing. Make a point to get tips from my mom on how to make the perfect pie crust~

Hubby made drinks - lemon bitter twist.

Perfect ending to a lovely Sunday night

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Delicious











Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pomegranate Lemon Cooler

Been dying to try out this thirst-quencher recipe since I saw it on one of the episodes of Jamie Oliver's 30 minute recipes. On the show he paired it together with a roast lamb main dish.

Image from http://ginnybranch.blogspot.com/

So that day I bought a pomegranate from Tesco... it costs so expensive in Malaysia - RM6.50 - and don't expect it to be fresh as you can get.

-prepare some ice in a cooler jug
-cut the pomegranate in half and squeeze all the juice and seeds into the jug
-squeeze half a lemon
-add sparkling water (Sprite will do!) to half the jug
-add cold water  

 Tada! The pomegranate lemon cooler in the wine glasses. Grilled lamb in marinated sauce and paprika courtesy of my hubby. Celery and cream cheese dip. Another wonderful end to a boring workday!



Monday, June 11, 2012

My First and Second Cheesecake.

Recently I started my baking adventure, as a means to occupy my time. When I decided to start, I realized that I didn't have any baking equipment in my kitchen except for a built-in oven, and a set of cake/bread pans bought from the USA. So me and hubby went to search high-and-low, all over Bayan Lepas area for baking equipment and ingredients.

For my first foray into "baking", I decided to start with the easiest recipe - a chilled Oreo cheesecake from the first page of Alan Ooi's "In Love With Cakes" - which actually does not require me to use the oven! Haha... Also, it turned out I didn't need to buy the electric mixer as yet... cos this recipe does not require it too!

So, this is my first creation from two weeks ago. Tada!

#1 - My first cake "Chilled Oreo Cheesecake"   
Chilled Oreo Cheesecake
How does it look? ^^

My first cake turned out not too bad, just that I forgot to add in some lemon zest to add some tangy flavour to the cheese. In the process of making this cake, I felt happy cos I learned something new from my mistakes, like chilled cheesecake need to use gelatine to firm up the cheese mixture, how to melt gelatine correctly (use cold water, not hot water!), and to mix less butter into the Oreo crust so that it turns out less greasy.

--------------

Fast forward two weeks, I was suddenly hit by a craving for fluffy, creamy, soft Japanese Cheesecake. I guessed that this would be a tougher cake to make given my lack of baking technique, so I googled up some online recipes here:



A briefer version of the recipe could also be found in Alan Ooi's book.

#2 - My second cake "Japanese Cotton Soft Cheesecake"
Japanese Cheesecake

Due to too much cake mixture, I filled one long pan and filled less than half of another round pan. The result was not too good. The cake sunk within minutes of opening the oven door. When seen from the side, the upper layer of the cake is dry and fluffy, but the lower layer of the cake is too wet and dense. Not very sure what happened exactly, but after some "debugging" from Internet and my MIL, I think it happened because I didn't beat the egg whites mixture long enough till it formed soft peaks (whatever thatttt is?) and I didn't fold in the egg whites to the batter correctly (just sort of dumped it all in. the other way round!) My mom says maybe I shouldn't use the top heat of the oven, just use the lower heat.




OK I'll try to do better next time~

I also got my eye on this recipe for my next chilled cheesecake. The crushed oats and liqueur for the topping sound very interesting:
http://www.cheekychilli.com/2010/04/06/a-case-for-cooking/

I also cooked two new dishes for the first time this weekend - stirfry Japanese tofu with minced pork, and "bak kut teh"!!! Yeah!~

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pantai Kerachut

Recently I'm feeling rather hyped up for outdoor activities, especially on the weekends. Maybe because I'm used to going out every weekend at Korea. Or maybe the weather and stress combined just makes me feel like breaking out into a good sweat. Anyway, I hope this enthusiasm continues, if not I'll get fatter and fatter from sitting in the office and lazing on the couch after work............

Last weekend I decided that my leg felt good enough for a hike. My first hike, after the surgery! Actually my leg has been getting better with twice-a-week physiotherapy and swimming. One day while walking around in the office I heard some cracking sounds inside my knee (good cracking sounds, like when your neck is stiff and you give it a good twist), and all of a sudden it felt better and I could straighten and bend it better. Also nowadays less people ask me "how's my leg?", that's good cos maybe it looks more normal now and people don't really notice it. Hehe. 

So I joined my hubby's colleagues to Pantai Kerachut. An easy hike, cos it consists of less steps than Bukit Jambul and takes less time than Penang Hill to reach the end (~1.5 hour). Plus we can take the boat back! :-P

Forgot how serene this beach is

One of the special things about Pantai Kerachut is the Meromictic Lake. This lake happens when salt water from the sea flows and combines with fresh water from rain and inland streams. The different densities of the water forms two levels in the lake, with salt water being at the bottom. This phenomenon only happens two times in a year during the change of monsoon: April-May and October-November. The rest of the time the lake is dry. So I guess we were lucky to see it.



The Meromictic Lake

The second more exciting reason for me to hike there is the turtle sanctuary! The baby turtles are kept in the sanctuary for one year, from the time they hatch from the egg, then they are released into the sea. This greatly helps to increase their survival chance from being eaten by predators like birds and monitor lizards while they are still too young. 

Turtle toddlers

Baby turtles

I just can't get enough from looking at the baby turtles. They look so comfortable and happy swimming around in the pool. Makes me feel like taking a dip too. :-)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me.

I thought I would be happier after going overseas.
I thought I would be happier coming back.

In fact, nothing has ever changed.

Today was an unhappy day.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Microwave Fail.

This morning, put chicken pot pie into the microwave oven.
Still dunno how to use the grill function properly.
Ended up the plastic cover melted into a hole at the center.
Must always remember: Microwave no steel, grill no plastic!

Sigh... still a longggggggg way towards Domestica!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

101 岁

如果人可以活一百零一年
那么两年内所发生的事,是不是可以变得无关紧要?

如果人可以活一百零一年
身边的爱人,朋友,一个接一个的离去
一切不好的回忆,可不可以就这样烟消云散?

如果人可以活一百零一年
我希望那是和你一起,永远同在。

Friday, April 27, 2012

The coffee here sucks.

I figured I should write something here to mark the end of my first week at a new job, in a new company. So here goes:

Life is, actually about getting used to coffee in new places.

Today is the fifth day here at my new job. Basically I found out that the coffee here sucks. Back in Korea I thought the coffee there was too mild, but here it is too strong! The coffee here also has some kind of weird taste, like today it actually smells and tastes like fried noodle sauce. The liquid looked stubbornly black although I added one spoonful of sugar and two spoonfuls of creamer powder. So I threw it down the sink after braving myself to take one sip. Sigh, looks like I have spend money to buy my own packet of coffee mix after all.

I miss the coffee culture in Korea. Last time when I got bored of the coffee mix in the lab, I could have other choices, like the vending machine on the second floor. The coffee from the vending machine cost 300~400won, depending on whether I was feeling "noblesse" on that day. There is also the cheaper choice of various types of can coffee from the school-subsidized mart in a building nearby. And when the weather was so freezing until my fingers hurt, there were hazelnut, vanilla, tiramisu-flavoured hot coffee, take your pick. Last of all, if I'm still not satisfied with the choices, or if I simply wanted to take a break from the lab, I could walk across the street and try out all the different cafes- some cute, some elegant, some which simply offers good coffee. :-)

I miss the decor and the feeling of those days...


Thursday, March 08, 2012

The day I broke my leg - Part II

Sometimes I think we take for granted the ability to do so many things in life without even knowing the mechanics of it - to swing your knees up and down at ease, to get out of bed in the morning, to straighten your knees out on the long couch, to stand with the legs bearing equal weight. After my ACL injury, I found out the hard way that just by breaking a ligament that I never even knew existed could cause me (and others) so much inconvenience and stress, even to do simple tasks that were going on in the back of my mind everyday. 

Let me recount some of the events that happened from the day of my injury to when I got discharged. 

Feb 2 (Thursday)
This was the day I fell down on the ski slope. At that moment I was relieved when the nurse at the first aid center told me that it looked like no bones had been broken.

Feb 3 (Friday)
The next morning my right leg had swollen to the size of a baseball, so I did not protest when my friend urged me to cut short my trip and return immediately to Busan to consult a doctor. 

The hospital I went to was Busan Korea Hospital at Daeyeon. After an X-ray determined that there was no bone fracture, the doctor assessed my injury by pulling and stretching it a bit, then using a syringe, he released the blood from my swollen knee. At that point the doctor still couldn't diagnose what was wrong, maybe a meniscus tear, and he advised me to get an MRI (medical resonance imaging) in order to get a clearer view of the tissue inside my knee. I was sent home with a splinter bandage to compress my swollen knee.  

I was not supposed to walk around much, but after the swelling had settled, my knee was actually feeling much better and I was soon limping around town because I had two friends who were visiting me in Busan that weekend~!

Feb 7 (Tuesday)
It was five days after and the swelling had subsided. I returned to Busan Korea Hospital for follow-up and this time I decided to get an MRI after getting a go-ahead from my university insurance agent. And since I am on the topic I would like to mention here that the Pukyong National University's Office of International Students' Affairs together with the university insurance agent did very little to help me out, seeing that it is their job and responsibility to help international students. Anyway, I had to switch to the insurance panel hospital Good Gang-an Hospital at Geumyeonsan in order to get direct claims. Under the university insurance scheme, my medical fees would be covered at 90% and I had to pay the remaining 10% myself. Also, I found out that I had to be hospitalized for the MRI in order to get a better insurance claim, which was communicated so inefficiently to me that I ended up getting so sad and frustrated and ended up in me throwing a big tantrum, flinging my crutches to the floor and shouting hysterically at the front-desk, hospital insurance liaison and the university insurance agent. :P 

Feb 9 (Thursday)
My MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) was scheduled today. I had admitted myself to the hospital the day before and had to abstain from food and drink since midnight.


My lower half body was pushed into the tunnel. Luckily not the full body, as I was getting a bit nervous and claustrophobic from the sight of the narrow and sterile tunnel. I felt like I was in an episode of House M.D. The MRI technician gave me a pair of headphones (like those used in a shooting range) and told me... "very loud, like gunshot, pang! pang! pang!", which did nothing to help calm my nerves. As I lay there and the MRI scan started, hmmm, I realized that the sounds were not as loud as I thought. And then I fell asleep after like 2 minutes. :P The MRI scan lasted about 45 minutes.

Feb 10 (Friday)
The doctor came in the morning and confirmed my injury - acute complete rupture of ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and therefore would need to undergo knee surgery - arthroscopic ACL reconstruction with allograft tendon. Btw allograft means the tendon is taken from external sources and not using the hamstring harvested from my other good leg. A "less" painful process, but don't ask me where that allograft comes from! Maybe a dead guy, or maybe a dead pig... I dunno. I even dreamt that my allograft tendon came from a marsupial, probably an imported kangaroo tendon for all I know. :P


More to be continued... leaving you guys with a gruesome picture of ACL rupture:

http://faculty.washington.edu/mtuggy/kneeinfo.htm

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The day I broke my leg.

I never thought that I would be spending my last days in Korea lying on a hospital bed. Looking at the bright February days pass me by outside the window. Missing all the fun I could have had traveling around Seoul with my solo girlfriend and later my brother and my hubby. Ticking off all the places I wish to visit in my final list like Everland and the Hello Kitty Cafe and Garosu-gil. 

Strangely even until now, after all the various feelings and thoughts have gone in and out of my head, it hasn't occurred to me any deep sense of regret why did I have to go Ski in the first place; just a faint resignation of the accident that had befallen me. Possibly because if time were to turn back I would have gone and done it again anyhow.   

It all happened on the Day of Feb 2. I was attending a conference in High 1 Resort at Kangwon-do Province where I was to present a poster on my thesis material. The point of importance about the conference was not really the presentation - it was more about visiting the snow-sloped grounds and wintry mountains and skiing! (I will blog again about the conference and the nice landscape later since the focus here is about how I broke my leg.)

So in the morning, I presented my poster at the conference venue. Then in the afternoon, our group went up to the ski slopes at High 1. I was excited and in good spirits and was so sure nothing bad would come out of it - after all, I had taken a beginner's lesson in skiing 3 years ago in Flagstaff, USA. After like 15 minutes of ski/walking around on flat ground, I rode the ski lift up the beginners' slope together with my friend. 

Then I started to ski downhill. No, actually after my friend started skiing off, I looked at his disappearing back and began to have second thoughts. I stood there for what must have felt like an eternity before mustering the courage (and hypnotizing myself) to take the leap. 

 Down I went........... whoosh......... going too fast I willed myself to fall to the side like I had learnt but suddenly the ski board on my right foot detached itself and flew up into mid-air, then suddenly crashed straight down onto my face as I watched in slow motion horror. On reflex I lifted both my arms to guard my face but my ski board still crashed into my upper jaw at full force and I could feel my whole mouth instantly bulge up with great pain. The next sensation I could feel was saltiness, so much saltiness in my mouth, I spitted out some blood onto the snow which, twisted as it may sound, looked like a rich and beautiful painting to me - bright red droplets on the white background of fluffy snow. 

I was in so much pain that I felt like crying, but no tears would come out. I sat there hugging myself, feeling helpless and lost among the dazzling white snowscape, while all the other obviously more experienced skiers came whooshing down effortlessly around me. I was terrified to get up and continue my journey, I think it was then that I KNEW something bad would probably befall me if I continued, but at that time, being stuck at the top of the slope, the only way I knew to exit this bad dream was to continue skiing downhill. So I summoned together the lesson about bravery that I had learnt after watching '127 Hours' not too long ago and re-attached the ski board onto my right foot and got up, all along being afraid that someone as experienced as me would come along and bang me right from the back. 

Then I attempted to ski downhill again. I fell for a couple more times, 2, 3, 4, 5... until I just about gave up and sat down in the snow. Cos it was too freaking tired and too freaking unachievable, you know... until a snow angel came along in the form of a ski patrol girl in red winter jacket. 

"Are you OK?", the Snow Angel asked.  

Not wanting to be a trouble to her/ stupidly trying to act strong, I shrugged off her help and tried to ski once more down the slope using the 'A' shape. That was when I went speedily down the slope, faster and faster, until I lost control of my speed and totally forgot to fall to the side, instead I did the stupid mistake of bending my knees in front and my back backwards until I suddenly heard something SNAP somewhere between my legs and the next thing I knew I was on my back and my legs crossed awkwardly on top of each other and I was groaning in pain............... 

The snow angel came again and this time it was a ready signal to Take. Me. Down. She used her walkie-talkie to call other ski patrol members and not long after, a sled appeared to carry me downhill. By then my pain had already subsided a little but I was not just about able to walk so the patrol guys strapped me to the sled and skiied me down to the first aid center.

At the first aid center the nurse said something in Korean which I mistook to be reassuring to the fact that I only had a temporary dislodgement or swelling, since she said that there seemed to be no bone fracture. She sprayed something on my knee then bandaged it, and gave me an ice pack for my swollen jaw.

After that I limped my way back to the resort, and at night limped myself to the KangwonLand Casino. And the next day limped all the way back for the bus ride back to Busan to go to a hospital for an X-ray scan... but that's another story to be continued. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Land of...

For the past month I have been giving some English tuition to my professor's daughter. Her English skills are quite good for an average Korean high school student cos she goes to a special language high school. So I try to give her more lessons on conversation. Although it's not a language exchange, but it's somewhat like a cultural exchange session when she tells me stories about Korean stuff and I tell her Malaysian ones.

That day I was curious about why Koreans like to wear white so much. When I first arrived here in spring I was shocked to see almost all the university students wearing white Converse or Nike or Adidas sneakers. White canvas Converse are the worst cos it feels like I'm reliving my primary-middle-high school nightmare in which I had to do the weekly routine of scrubbing my white canvas shoes and slicking white paint on to cover the gray stubborn stains that wouldn't come off. Nevertheless I still bought a pair of white canvas Converse sneakers here... just so I could fit in. In summer, people like to wear white shirts too. The best thing is...... for "red" or auspicious events (喜事) like wedding, New Year, we Chinese usually give out red packets. It is a taboo for us to give out white packets cos they symbolize unfortunate events (白事) like passing away, etc. But for auspicious events like wedding and New Year, the Koreans give out money in white color envelopes! God forbid that a Korean does such a faux pas in a Malaysian Chinese auspicious event!! :-S

Anyway, my student told me that Koreans pride in the colour white cos they are known historically as "the race clothed in white" or 白衣民族. Like when you see those period Korean dramas the men like to wear white swaths of cloth with a black top hat. Those are usually high ranking officials or scholars. I can imagine all the washing that their wives/mothers have to go through to keep the costumes dazzling white....... :-S

Hence, I feel like this is The Land of People Who Like To Wash Stuff (빨래 좋아하는 민족) cos apart from washing their white clothes, the other obvious thing that needs washing is the dozens of small dishes used to hold all the side food................. 

2011 Movies I Watched

Here is the list of titles I watched in 2011. List of 63! 14 more than 2010! Wowwwwwwwwww
  • Sherlock Holmes - A Game of Shadows
  • Final Destination 5
  • The Holiday
  • Home Alone 1
  • Mission Imposible 4: Ghost Protocol
  • 法证先锋 III (HK drama)
  • 天与地 (HK drama)
  • 窃听风云 2
  • Friends with Benefits
  • Immortals
  • 도가니 / The Crucible
  • Last Night
  • 美人心计 (China drama)
  • 武侠
  • Horrible Bosses
  • 사랑한다 사랑하지않는다 / Come Rain Come Shine
  • Ladda Land
  • 김종욱 찾기 / Finding Kim Jong Wook
  • 意外
  • The Hangover II
  • Going The Distance
  • 谈情说案 (HK drama)
  • Rise of Planet of the Apes
  • 第二处女 (Japanese drama)
  • Never Let Me Go
  • Captain America ( First Avenger)
  • Just Go With It
  • Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows - Part 2
  • 犀利人妻 (Taiwan drama)
  • CSI Season 11
  • Transformers 3: Dark Side of the Moon
  • Insidious
  • The Lincoln Lawyer
  • X-Men: First Class
  • 49 일 (Korean drama)
  • Pirates of the Carribean 4: On Stranger Tides
  • Hello, Stranger (Thai)
  • 5 Centimeters per Second (Jap anime)
  • Fast & Furious 5: 4D
  • No Strings Attached
  • 非诚勿扰 II
  • Thor
  • 鱼跃在花见 (HK drama)
  • Julie and Julia
  • Red Riding Hood
  • Desperate Housewives Season 7
  • The Adjustment Bureau
  • The Tourist
  • Tangled
  • The Ugly Truth
  • House Season 6
  • 만추 / Late Autumn
  • Superhero movie
  • Mr. & Mrs. I
  • Van Helsing
  • Secret Garden (Korean drama)
  • 第 36 个故事 / Taipei Exchanges
  • Love and Other Drugs
  • The Town
  • Wanted
  • American Beauty
  • The Social Network
  • Narnia - The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Monday, January 30, 2012

New HDD!

After two years in Korea, I accumulated 100GB of photos. And another 200GB of movies, dramas, songs... etc. =_=''' My trusty beautiful 300GB Samsung ruby baby is not enough to store all my data (including years before...) So I had to buy a new portable one.

Simply bought one online based on recommendation from friend... Seagate 500GB portable HDD, price 99,500won. I actually wanted to buy Samsung cos it looks so beautiful... or Buffalo cos there's pink colour design... but my friend kept on saying Seagate better than Samsung blabla so what the heck I'm just gonna give this a try... I actually ordered in silver but they delivered it to me in black!!!!!!!!! *ANGRY* 


It comes with a USB3.0 cable and cable adapter which allows the device to be connected to Firewire 800 and eSATA. No idea how to use the other upgradable stuff, maybe hubby can find out a way to maximize its potential. =_=''' 


Arghhhhhhhhhhh if I could do it all over again I would get my Samsung baby a macho 500GB Samsung boyfriend... in piano black or pearl white! Hmm.. maybe I could use this Seagate device to store movies and plug into my TV at home... matching black........


After I bought my portable HDD, I formatted it using XP following instructions here:
http://ask-leo.com/how_do_i_format_and_partition_my_new_external_hard_disk.html

I personally feel that everything looks neater if I partition my HDD. But some of my friends said actually I need not do it, just make it into different folders. What do you think?